Friday, June 1, 2012

Keep It Simple, Sister

KISS. Originally an acronym for "keep it simple, stupid." I, however, like my title better. It reflects my ongoing journey to embrace simplicity. Of casting off the nonessentials in order to embrace the essentials. Of choosing people above programs. Talk-to-me-in-person-time over technology. It is an ongoing dance, this journey to saying no over and over again so that ultimately I can say—yes, Lord. Yes, Lord, to your best for me.

"God made man simple; man's complex problems are of his own devising." (Ecclesiastes 7:30 JB)

Simplicity can be defined by many things, inward and outward, but I am finding that Christian simplicity surrounds this truth: I am becoming, and accepting, and living out fully the person God has created me to be. And in saying this, I am declaring that anything outside of the person God has created me uniquely to be can and must go. I do not want to live in duplicity, pleasing others and pretending to be someone I simply am not. That is the heart of simplicity.

I am convinced that Quaker pastor and author Richard Foster likes to kick my butt around a bit. Reading the first six chapters of Celebration of Discipline has shined a spotlight on my failure to fully embrace the means of grace God has invited us into. And yet—at this point in my life, I consider my shortfall not a scolding, but a delightful invitation. The world calls me to live my life frenetically, disconnected, seeking my own comfort, things, and satisfaction. Jesus calls me to something entirely, delightfully different. And I want different.

It is all about seeking the Kingdom of God first, according to Foster. And, of course, according to God's Word as well (Matthew 6:33).

"Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes. If what we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will possess freedom from anxiety. This is the inward reality of simplicity." - Celebration of Discipline, p. 88

Can you imagine living this way? Can you imagine the cost of NOT living this way? I simply cannot afford to ignore the invitation of Jesus to live truly and simply any longer. Just the first step on a journey to understanding what all of this means.

How about you? What keeps you from Christian simplicity? And what draws you to it?

No comments:

Post a Comment